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Submitted on
July 8, 2011
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Puertasaurus reuili - REVISED by Paleo-King Puertasaurus reuili - REVISED by Paleo-King
FORGOTTEN GIANTS: Species #1 - Puertasaurus reuili

*Now rescaled and heavily revised with shorter torso and longer tail to reflect more accurately the spinal proportions based on Novas et. al., 2005 and also on related genera* Limbs have been thickened and straightened from the previous version. (The Giganotosaurus is also revised, ironically with a longer torso than before.)

The recently discovered mega-titanosaur Puertasaurus reuili, a giant to dwarf the giants - rigorously scaled, in high-fidelity TRIPLE axial view, for the very first time!

This is an update of the very first high-fidelity reconstruction of Puertasaurus ever done - the first version was featured on the awesome sauropod blog SV-POW: [link]
This ground-breaking reconstruction (in its earlier form [link]) also inspired Vladimir Nikolov's excellent painting of the animal [link] , Teratophoneus's drawing, [link] , as well as Rexisto's titanosaur silhouettes [link] on and Roy van Hees' 3D walk cycle of the animal on youtube: [link] .

This reconstruction is also the basis of my collaborative work with Chris Masna [link] on this phenomenal rendered version: [link]
In-progress pics: [link]

A hypothetical diagram approximating the likely shape and size of the dorsal vertebrae is included - the torso is considerably shorter than in the previous version. Missing portions of the known fossils are also shaded. Giganotosaurus (though it lived earlier) is included for scale as it was the largest meat-eater. The largest predator of Puertasaurus's fauna was Orkoraptor, an allosauroid supposedly similar in size to Giganotosaurus.

About Puertasaurus:

Taxonomy: Sauropoda; Macronaria; Titanosauria; Lognkosauria
Time & Place: Latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian epoch, 69 mya - ?), Pari Aike formation, southern Argentina.
Dimensions: ~38m (125 ft.) long, ~110 tons

Known only from a lower neck vertebra, a front dorsal, and two as-of-yet unpublished tail vertebrae, this creature was colossal even compared to other giant titanosaurs. It was even larger than Argentinosaurus [link] , and so far only Alamosaurus seems to have equaled or exceeded it in size. Puertasaurus is a very late-evolving member of Lognkosauria, a strange family of intermediate titanosaurs with extremely massive vertebrae with massive processes, and short but extremely wide rib cages.

Puertasaurus probably had the widest and most voluminous rib cage of any animal known to science - although the ribs are missing, the huge width and depth of the wing-like transverse processes of the 2nd dorsal indicates they supported an unusually wide rib cage, perhaps as wide as 7.3 meters (24 ft). When alive, the whole animal probably weighed well over 100 tons. A particularly odd feature of this species is its unusual neck shape - wider than it is deep, and with very squat centra, this design made possible a downright insane range of vertical motion, even perhaps leaning the head back past vertical, but also likely limited horizontal/lateral neck motion to some degree. The head and mouth likely would have been very wide as well.

Puertasaurus appeared in southern Argentina some 69 million years ago, long after the first Lognkosaurians, which date back to the mid-Cretaceous - in fact, it's one of the last sauropods to have lived, and certainly the last of the truly gigantic ones.

Pencil on paper, 11x17" 2009. Digitally revised, 2010 & 2011

Novas, Fernando E.; Salgado, Leonardo; Calvo, Jorge; and Agnolin, Federico (2005). "Giant titanosaur (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia". Revisto del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, n.s. 7 (1): 3741.
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SameerPrehistorica Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Hobbyist
As usual different people put different estimates for some extinct animals.I'm going to make one.Your Puertasaurus use to have much longer neck and it stands equal to Sauroposeidon where as in few images i noted a somewhat long neck but not much longer.I will slightly increase its neck length than Argentinosaurus.I have seen that vertebrae picture of both Argentinosaurus and Puertsaurus placed together.I just think that both of them are somewhat equal in size.
theropod1 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014
"The largest predator of Puertasaurus's fauna was Orkoraptor, an allosauroid supposedly similar in size to Giganotosaurus."
Did you mean to write "Allosaurus" or "Neovenator" (even those actually seem bigger)?
Novas et al. 2008 estimate Orkoraptor at 6-7m in lenght (admittedly based on comparison with very distantly related animals). I’m sure someone would have noticed if it was among the biggest known theropods :D (Big Grin) 
sauropodomorph Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014
Hope you don't mind. A colleage of mine who has built many skeletal reconstructions of sauropods 1:1 scale [fibreglas] and I, have gotten together and wondered about the feasibility of building this sauropod on a 1:1 scale [fleshed version]. This is not for a museum. It's a private project and we would like to ask your permission to reproduce your detailed reconstruction for a Kickstarter project of ours. Let us know if this is alright with you.

Super reconstruction. We fell head over heels in love with it.
Paleo-King Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Send me the details in a PM. (some background on your friend and his work, the end goal of the project, the terms of the private project like commissions, location, etc.) Thanks, I look forward to talking about this.
christina1969 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
Nice, but Giganotosaurus not would be taller (about 3.9-4 m tall at the head or at the hips)?
mark0731 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
This puertasaurus is too large. More recent reconstructions says a the length is only 30 m.
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
They assume more conservative proportions like Malawisaurus. You're probably referencing Scott Hartman. If Puertasaurus was built like Malawisaurus then this would be true. However, there are three reasons why I don't accept that conclusion.

1. Puertasaurus is NOT Malawisaurus. It's a much bigger animal, and more derived. Comparing Puertasaurus to Malawisaurus is like comparing Rapetosaurus to Epachthosaurus - one is a basal jack-of-all-trades, the other is a larger derived dedicated high-browser with a much longer neck. (Yes Rapetosaurus was larger than Epachthosaurus - an adult Epachthosaurus was similar in size to a juvenile Rapetosaurus).

2. We don't have much of Puertasaurus. Thus assuming the cervical recovered really IS C9, it is a good estimate for an average cervical length in a neck that may have had 14-16 vertebrae. This results in a very long neck, proportionally far longer than that of Malawisaurus. It makes sense, remember Puertasaurus was a much bigger animal and bigger sauropods tend to be high-browsers with a very large feeding envelope and long necks.

3. The size debate always swings between extremes. You may have seen my old reconstruction of Puertasaurus, which was much longer. This is a moderate estimate here. Hartman's is very conservative. Who's to say one is more correct than the other, unless you know about the family and the anatomy very picky specifics? Hartman restores both Futalognkosaurus and Puertasaurus to look like Malawisaurus. But Malawisaurus is a distant cousin, and rather conservative in proportions - a bit like the Camarasaurus of the titanosaurs. It would make more sense to use closer, larger relatives like Mendozasaurus, Traukutitan, and Drusilasaura to fill in the gaps. This would result in larger body sizes anyway, even before you take Puertasaurus' neck length into account.
mark0731 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014
OK. Anyway, your puertasaurus is awesome. :)
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks :D Greatly appreciated.
It is after all THE pioneering hi-fi Puertasaurus reconstruction that inspired all the others :)
Fragillimus335 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Looks like you got your very own copycat!…
Puertasaurus looks very familiar!
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